All you need to know about Teflon EcoElite
One of the main concerns of companies investing in research and innovation in the textile industry is making clothes that are more resistant to the weather, humidity and stains. For a long time, fabrics have been treated with various substances that have been found to have a negative impact on the environment. Volcom is currently focusing on a new biobased water-repellent treatment: Teflon EcoElite™.
What is Teflon EcoElite™?
Teflon EcoElite™ is a non-fluorinated hydrophobic water-repellent product that repels both water and stains. Created by the Chemours group, it represents a major innovation in the textile industry as it is the first bio-sourced treatment of its kind. Aimed at the textile industry, this major innovation will make it possible to considerably reduce the impact of clothing manufacturing on the environment. Until now, other non-fluorinated water repellent treatment products were used, such as paraffin and silicone. However, we will now see that Teflon EcoElite™ performs much better.
Teflon EcoElite™ will make clothing more environmentally friendly, as it is the first water-repellent treatment that is made from natural elements. This responds to a growing demand from consumers to adopt a more environmentally responsible lifestyle. Several studies conducted by consumer and environmental institutes have found that a large proportion of millennials are willing to pay more for clothing that is more durable and environmentally friendly.
The benefits of using Teflon EcoElite™
The Teflon EcoElite™ treatment offers three benefits: strength, environmental friendliness, and comfort.
An organically sourced anti-stain finish
The new Teflon EcoElite™ treatment is made up of 60% renewable materials, as its components are made from plants. In addition, the plants used are not GMOs. Respect for ecology has become a priority for Chemours, which published its CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) commitments in 2018. Included among the ten objectives set by the company regarding sustainable development, is the reduction of the emissions of organic and fluorinated chemicals for air and water treatment by 99%. Studies conducted by Greenpeace on water in mountain areas have revealed the presence of PFCs (perfluorinated compounds), which are used in the treatment of technical sportswear. Not only do these have an impact on the environment, but also on health, as they are believed to be carcinogenic.
Increased textile resistance
The other advantage of treating textiles with Teflon EcoElite™ is that it performs far better than other solutions such as paraffin and silicone. Infact, it has been shown that, after 30 washes or more, textiles continue to effectively repel water and stains. Generally, other treatments tend to be less effective more quickly. As a result, garments that have been treated with this non-fluorinated hydrophobic water repellent protect against external moisture for longer.
A solution that offers more comfort
Treating certain textiles used in the manufacturing of clothing makes them waterproof and also more stain-resistant. They are particularly used for sports clothing and footwear, jackets, coats, trousers, etc. This is also the case with ski suits. Indeed, the Italian brand Colmar has teamed up with the manufacturer to create its forthcoming clothing ranges. Like all the patented products of the Teflon™ brand, Teflon EcoElite™ uses Eco Dry technology, which is a water repellent with 38% of its components being non-fluorinated products.
Protecting people from external moisture is essential in order for clothing to be comfortable. However, the garment will not protect properly against the cold if the textile is not breathable. This is because it will tend not to release the heat produced by the body and will prevent perspiration from evaporating. The fabric will then become very uncomfortable and will retain bad odours. Teflon EcoElite™ has the advantage of being even more breathable than paraffin and silicone. This is a real revolution in the technical sportswear manufacturing sector, which suffered from a bad reputation due to its first breathable membranes being made from fluoropolymers.
History of the Teflon brand
The Teflon™ brand is owned by the American company Chemours, resulting from a demerger of Du Pont de Nemours. The first patent for the brand was obtained in 1945. Since then, research groups have been constantly looking for ways to improve the performance of their treatment products. Very quickly, the ecological issue became part of the specifications of research projects in order to find solutions with a reduced impact on the environment.
The researcher who led the research team that developed Teflon EcoElite™ is John Sworen. In September 2019, he was awarded the Gordon E Moore Medal. The previous year, Chemours won the Bio-Based Product of the Year award at the Bio-Based World News Innovation Awards.
Definitions of important terms:
Water-repellent: Relates to a fabric or material on which water slides without penetrating.
Hydrophobic: Relates to a textile fibre that does not allow water to penetrate.